I have always believed there are two main reasons we in Illinois suffer from having Bruce Rauner as governor.
Pat Quinn decided he was placed on this earth to cut public employee pensions.
He picked Paul Vallas as his running mate.
Quinn lost by a mere 70,000 votes statewide. I pin that tiny margin on pensions and Vallas.
Vallas screws up anything he does. He is like Midas in reverse. Everything he touches turns to shit.
But, jeez, don’t the school privatizers just love him.
His actual job resume is shaky: Fired as CPS CEO. Fired as NOLA recovery school’s chief after Katrina. Fired as Bridgeport, Connecticut schools superintendent for lacking basic educational credentials. Shown the door in Philadelphia.
He might as well have been a coach in professional sports where white guys also seem to get another coaching job no matter how bad they are.
The news that he is being promoted by Bruce Rauner to run the underfunded Chicago State University doesn’t come as a great surprise.
CSU serves a primarily African American student body.
It is ironic that the news of the Vallas’ appointment comes at the same time as Gary Solomon got seven years in prison for his part in the Barbara Byrd Bennet SUPES bribery scandal.
Solomon went on to be a sales associate and then a vice president for the Princeton Review, a test preparation company, and counted CPS as one of his clients.
In 2005, he ventured out on his own and created two companies, one focusing on consulting and the other on web development. In Philadelphia, he marketed the consulting company as using the “Paul Vallas method of school reform.”
Solomon’s marketing efforts stoked controversy in the Philadelphia school community. Vallas at the time was CEO of Philadelphia schools, but had no training or background in education other than his time leading Chicago schools—a job he took at former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s behest after being the city’s budget director.
At a press conference last Friday Roderick Sawyer, 6th Ward Alderman:
“I just don’t know what value he adds to this university, that’s my concern. I don’t even know what a crisis intervention specialist means. I can understand it, but I would like to see a defined description of what that looks like and what he’s supposed to do. Is he usurping the president’s authority and powers? Is he adding to that? Has he got a specific task in mind?”
Maybe he has a task in mind. But it won’t be good.